Super Human: Eric
From: Lake County
Started practicing Bikram Yoga: 2012
Favourite Posture: Camel Pose.
Why practice Bikram Yoga:
Hello, I'm Eric. I've been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2012, after discovering its healing power. Here is a story of my journey in finding/realizing the magnificence of Bikram Yoga.
This is exactly what I was considering talking about in Teacher Training when Ian, from staff, had asked me to take his place when staff members where standing up to share about themselves. I was not ready to do that at the time.
I was searching for something that western doctors were not able to provide. After ten years of not getting the answers I was looking for bone marrow transplant complications and medication side effects, I sought the help of yoga.
In 2000 I was diagnosed with leukemia. I received a bone marrow transplant the following year. I was admitted to the hospital there-after for graft vs host disease (gvhd) post bone marrow transplant complications. It is when the donor's marrow recognizes the patient's body as foreign and attacks the patient's organs) for more than twenty times. Since leukemia is cancer of the blood, I received mass amounts of radiation and chemo therapy to kill my blood cells, (most of them, anyway) which were infected/abnormal, before receiving the transplant. Therefore the medical team just about killed me, and then revived me. It was a time that I was never more sick with nausea and vomiting. The transplant donor was someone I had never met, who lived clear across the United States from me.
Throughout the years of severe, chronic gvhd I had become quite familiar with other specialty doctors besides oncologists and hematologists. Appointments to dermatologists, orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists, integrative medicine specialists, among other doctors, became the norm for me. The compassion I had gotten from nurses, doctors and others was the second time a propelling motion of myself seriously considering a job that would directly help others, which eventually inspired me to become a Bikram Yoga teacher.
The first was at age two-and-a-half after surviving a horrible car crash that put me in a coma for three weeks (family had told me this; I don't personally remember it.) Knowing what the medical team in those early days did for me was my initial urge that I would love to give back to people in some kind of an awe-inspiring way.
In 2010, or '11, I was in search of an excellent exercise routine. Able to be off of mass doses of prednisone, I had to take for gvhd suppression. I was then able to build muscle since many years before. I noticed a website called bodyrock.tv.com which was about High Intensity Interval Training. With the osteonecrosis in my body, (from prolonged use of prednisone, which doctors warned me was permanent damage) and extremely tight, stiff skin from gvhd-induced scleroderma there was no possible way I was able to do that. Currently I'm able to take, and enjoy, hot Pilates classes, with much thanks to Bikram Yoga.
To this day I am unable to stretch my arms out all the way at my elbow joints, which is the last of my scleroderma. Throughout the years, my teacher at my home studio had mentioned time and again that my arms are showing improvement little by little. In Teacher Training, Bikram had referred to me as "Mr. Elbow." Then, I noticed a portion of the website that was called bodyrock flow, which focused more on healing than straight-up exercise. The host of bodyrock flow, Teshia Maher, put a lot of emphasis on the health benefits of Bikram Yoga. 'This is more than just an excellent exercise routine,' I kept paraphrasing reviews of Bikram Yoga. I had soon personally understood what that meant. Sometimes it is more than what words can express.
My family and I have both noticed a day-and-night difference in my mood, attitude, awareness, social behavior and cognitive skills between when I practiced and when I didn't. I then knew what Bikram meant when he said, "Yoga makes you, YOU."
I told my mother that less and less, I usually don't have to really think much about what I'm going to say before I say it, when often I do. Since practicing, words usually flow out of my mouth in conversations more smooth without me having to think much about the usage of them, and often all makes sense as I hear myself. My mother replied, "Bikram Yoga is correcting your brain injuries from your accident as a baby." This wonderful yoga truly helps with cognitive abilities.
I made the final decision that one of the most noble jobs of caring for others, as so many had cared for me throughout my life, would be to become a Bikram Yoga teacher.
I graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Spring 2014. I am very grateful to be able to teach Bikram's healing 26 and 2 that has helped me overcome many obstacles and continues to do so.